AFC Fylde progressed into the Emirates FA Cup First Round after beating Leek Town 3-1 at Mill Farm in the Fourth Qualifying Round. 

Jon Ustabasi’s opener midway through the half sent Fylde into the lead at half-time before Aaron Opoku levelled seven minutes on from the restart.

Fylde’s second came through Sam Graham’s superb header from Nick Haughton’s corner with 19 minutes left to play before Harry Davis added a late third, whilst Tom Scully was sent off for the visitors.

Prior to kick-off, both teams came together for a minute’s silence to remember the victims of the tragic events in the Middle East.

The Coasters’ first chance came inside nine minutes after good passing play between Nelson Khumbeni and Ustabasi teed up captain Danny Philliskirk on the edge of the box, who hit a low strike straight into the gloves of Matthew Corran.

Ustabasi would try his luck soon after, cutting inside from the right to aim at goal and towards the near post, which Corran saved comfortably.

Kieran Glynn’s lofted pass was met by Ustabasi, who got in behind the Leek defence to take the ball around Corran – however, his effort was blocked.

Spotting Corran off his line, Nick Haughton attempted an audacious attempt from his own half, but his strike lacked direction and did not trouble Corran.

Beech’s men were in front on 24 minutes when Max Conway’s corner from the right was headed out by Louis Keenan, with Ustabasi controlling it on the left-hand edge of the box to then lift a left-footed shot across goal, which beat Corran and found the bottom right corner.

But the Coasters were under threat almost immediately after Robert Stevenson surged down the right and got the better of Graham to cross into the box, which Davis was able to clear.

Just past the half-hour mark, a long ball upfield set Stevenson through, who drove into space and crossed, which Theo Richardson had to come out and claim, with Opoku waiting to pounce.

Conway then played a well-timed diagonal ball to Ustabasi who headed on target, forcing Corran to hold well under pressure from Gold Omotayo.

The Coasters’ number 21, on loan from Bolton Wanderers, almost doubled Fylde’s advantage. Following a neat team move, Connor Barrett played the ball out on the left, and Conway drove first-time, creeping just past the left-hand post.

Half-Time: AFC Fylde 1-0 Leek Town

Josh Brehaut’s Staffordshire outfit threatened soon after the break when Scully’s free-kick was met by Keenan’s header, which Richardson superbly pushed onto the post and away from danger.

The visitors went close again after Scully’s free-kick was flicked on by Opoku for Stevenson to poke inches wide from a matter of yards.

Leek were back on level terms with 52 minutes on the clock, as Opoku side-footed beyond Richardson and into the bottom right corner.

Aiming to respond, the Coasters went on the attack, and Barratt drilled a fierce cross across goal, but Omotoyo could only turn his header wide in the six-yard box.

Conway had to clear a cross away from danger, with Daniel Trickett-Smith ready to tap into an empty net, and captain Marc Grocott fizzed a low shot along the turf as Leek searched for a second.

Fylde were back ahead in the 71st minute. Haughton’s pinpoint corner into a crowded box found Graham, who powered a header past Corran and into the roof of the net.

In the closing minutes, Richardson had to get down well to his right, after a passing move involving Ross Davidson and Opoku freed Liam Buckley down the right, but his cross was held by the Coasters goalkeeper.

Fylde’s third came through the head of Davis from Haughton’s corner on 86 minutes to put the result beyond any doubt.

Scully was sent off for Leek in added time, whilst Ustabasi and Luke Charman went close to adding a fourth, as Fylde secured their passage to Sunday’s first-round draw.

AFC Fylde: Richardson, Barrett, Davis, Graham, Conway, Khumbeni, Philliskirk  © (Whitehead 73), Glynn (Rowley 64), Haughton, Ustabasi, Omotayo (Charman 73)

Subs not used: Metcalfe, Obi, Bird, Ligendza

Leek Town: Corran, Buckley, Keenan, Grocott ©, Harrison, Ndene, Davidson (Milovanovic 87), Scully, Opoku, Trickett-Smith (Carr 86), Stevenson

Subs not used: Avery, Reilly, Watts, Digbeu, O’Shaughnessy